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A2Z – Heroes

Blogging our way from A to Z on issues of sexual and gender identity - Heroes!

Heroes.  They are something we should all have, and they come in many shapes and sizes.  Some may be the usual suspects, heralds of a cause, but others can be found unexpected places.  In truth, I believe everyone has the potential to be a hero.  And I can’t think of any better way to demonstrate this fact that to share a few of my local Saskatchewan heroes who also happen to be members of the acronym community.

Mikayla Schultz is the founder of TransSask (support services).  She is a tireless advocate and campaigner for equality.  Through tremendous efforts, she recently put government to the test and had many successes with the signing of a declaration formalizing March 25-31 as Transgender Awareness Week in communities across Saskatchewan.

Don Cochrane is a former University of Saskatchewan professor, who continues to educate everyone he meets.  His groundbreaking work into subjects of importance to the Sexual Minority and Gender Variant community continue to force change, improving the lives of everyone in Canada.  You can see his hand all over this province, and especially at the annual Breaking the Silence conference here in Saskatoon.

Sarah Houghtaling is a local high school student.  She strives diligently to make lives better not only for those who attend school with her, but for minority students across our province.  A student activist who’s name I highly recommend taking note of.  She’s one of the many young people who WILL change our world for the better.  If you are ever able to attend one of her talks, DO!  You will be inspired.

Kay Williams is one of the most outspoken allies you will ever meet.  A determined advocate for her son, and a helping voice in a confusing world for parents new to the world of parenting LGBTT2QI children and youth.  Kay is a proud volunteer, and one of the founding members of PFLAG in Saskatoon.  She also was awarded the Peter Corren Award for Outstanding Achievement this year at Breaking the Silence – and yes, I teared up during her acceptance speech (which I recorded, and will share at some point).

Four individuals, all unique, all at different stages of their journey, all willing to do whatever it takes to see things become better for those around them.  All four are heroes, and all four I’m proud to call friend.

Who are the heroes in your life?

Regina Woman Refused Her Right to Vote!

A woman, who went to cast her ballot at an advanced poll, was turned away.  Not because she forgot her I.D. or couldn’t prove residency…  but because of a medical condition.  An enumerator who went to her residence simply decided that she wasn’t fit to vote, without even talking to her.  Then, when she went to the polling station, she was turned away on the grounds of being unregistered.

Can we say DISCRIMINATION?

Need some help?

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This woman, like any other, regardless of age or disability, deserves to cast her vote as she sees fit.  It is her right as a Canadian citizen.  Wherever she places her X, it is her right to do so.

I honestly hope there are some serious consequences for the unnamed enumerator in this mess.  This is not a matter that should be handled internally.  I personally would like to see some outside involvement, and possible charges being laid.  Discrimination on any basis is not something to be taken lightly.

I am honestly too outraged to post much more than the basic facts here…  I’ll soon start making up words and just flinging my arms around violently.  This is SOOOO not okay.  Not even remotely.

This woman, regardless of how well she understands the political game (and truly, how well do any of us understand it?), deserves to vote.  The fact that some government worker went to her home and simply decided she was unfit – without even talking to her – is reprehensible.  Very honestly, if someone is capable of telling you their name, their age, and can identify themselves as a Canadian citizen (in one way or another), then they have the right to put their X wherever they see fit.  Even if this information must be relayed through a third party (as would be the case for my younger sister, Marie) they have the right to vote.

Appalling!

To read the story by CBC, click below:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2011/04/28/sk-voting-senior-110428.html

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